I am fairly new at beekeeping and this is my first winter with hives of my own. I have 3 colonies. 2 seem to be wintering quite well but the 3rd has some unusual activity which I have no experience with. First of all I live in northeast Canada and right now we have close to 2 feet of snow on the ground. My hives are 2 boxes high and all three hives were treated for mites, Foul Brood and Nosema in the Fall. Now back to that third hive. In the last 3 weeks I have noticed that each time I pass there seems to be good quantity of dead bees on top of the snow and there seems to be a brown stain circling each dead bee, also the top exit hole seems to be stained somewhat and also along the front of the hive. the other 2 hives have a few dead bees which I beleive to be normal.Is this Nosema and what can I do about it?
this definately sounds like nosema. A simple remedy is called Fumadil. You can purchase this through a bee catalog. Mix a gallon of sugar water, five pounds of sugar and a gallon of water, heat until the sugar is dissolved, let cool and follow the directions on the bottle of Fumadil. Give a gallon of treated sugar water to each hive. This will "clean" the bees system out from the winter. We treat our hives for this each fall and spring. The fall mixture of sugar is fifteen pounds of sugar to a gallon of water.